Terry McCarthy

President and CEO

Terry McCarthy was appointed President and CEO of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council in July 2012. Prior to that, he traveled the world for television and print media for 27 years, covering politics, business, military, social and environmental issues across the US, Europe, Asia and Latin America. He has managed bureaus in the US and overseas, and set up two bureaus in war zones. He speaks six languages, has won four Emmys and an Edward R. Murrow award.

For CBS News McCarthy spent four months embedded with US Marines in southern Afghanistan for a promoted series “The Thundering Third” which won an Emmy and an Edward R Murrow award in 2011. He followed Egypt’s anti-Mubarak revolution in Cairo, traced the steps of the al Qaeda “underpants bomber” in Yemen, traveled along China’s Silk Road, reported on Shanghai’s real estate boom and did in-depth reporting on cyber attacks on US corporations.

Prior to CBS News, McCarthy was the main Baghdad correspondent for ABC News from 2006 to 2009, covering the trial and execution of Saddam Hussein, the US troop surge in 2007 and the everyday life of the residents of Baghdad in the midst of the war. He also covered life in Mexico City during the swine flu epidemic of 2009. He traveled the length of the Yangtze River in China to examine that country’s economic development, and filmed inside the eye of a category 4 hurricane off Florida in a C 130 hurricane hunter. In 2007 he won an Emmy for a series on how Iraqis viewed their lives 4 years after the US invasion.

Before moving into television McCarthy spent 8 years working for TIME magazine as Shanghai bureau chief and then Los Angeles bureau chief. He wrote about China’s internet and car industries, the fall of Indonesian dictator Suharto and the death of Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot. From LA he did in-depth stories about the Green River serial killer in Seattle, the fight over new oil drilling in Alaska and the science of sharks. Immediately after 9/11 McCarthy went to Afghanistan to cover the ousting of the Taliban from Kabul, and in 2003 he covered the US invasion of Iraq. He set up TIME’s bureaus in Kabul and Baghdad.

From 1987 to 1995 McCarthy was based in Bangkok and then Tokyo for the Independent newspaper of London, where he covered the bursting of Japan’s economic bubble, Aung San Suu Kyi’s campaign for democracy in Burma and civil war in Cambodia. He started his career as a freelance reporter in Central America in 1985. He speaks German, French, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese.

Full Bio
Alexander Messmann

Executive Vice President

Alexander Messmann has been with the Los Angeles World Affairs Council since 1987. He studied at universities in Germany and the United States and obtained a graduate degree in Public Administration from the University of Konstanz. Before starting his tenure at the Council, he had worked at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in New York and as a research assistant at the University of Konstanz.

Jessica McCarthy

Vice President of Events

Jessica is an event planner who has coordinated corporate and private events throughout Los Angeles, Orange County, the Bay Area, San Diego and Las Vegas. She has previous nonprofit experience as the Events Manager for WriteGirl, a creative writing and mentoring program for at-risk teen girls, where she coordinated and managed over forty events each year, including their annual fundraising awards gala, the Bold Ink Awards. She also coordinates the travel programs for the Council, which have included trips to Cuba, North Korea and Iran. 

Tracy Navichoque

Director of Membership and Development

Tracy holds a BA in history and international studies from Northwestern University. Before joining the Council, Tracy worked in education and public affairs at the binational center in Montevideo, Uruguay. Prior to her time abroad, she advanced arts education initiatives as part of the academic department at the Hammer Museum. Tracy currently coordinates membership and development at the Council. She is a Los Angeles native and speaks four languages.

Ellen Plant

Director of Communications

Ellen is a native of Portland, Oregon and completed her degree in public relations at Brigham Young University in Utah. She moved to Los Angeles after graduating and worked in public affairs and marketing in the non-profit and education sectors. Ellen coordinates all aspects of communications including marketing, public relations, social media, advertising and web content. She also manages the High School Program and Young Professionals Program for the Council.

Contact/Media Information

Los Angeles World Affairs Council
3535 Hayden Avenue, Suite 200
Culver City, CA 90232


(424) 258-6160


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Email Addresses

Alexander Messmann
 Jessica McCarthy

Tracy Navichoque
Ellen Plant